Israel Stepping Up Plans to Meet Iranian Nuclear Threat, Military Chief Says

Aviv Kochavi tells Knesset committee that the new state budget allows military to meet ‘a variety of challenges’

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Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi speaking to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in Jerusalem on Tuesday.
Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi speaking to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in Jerusalem on Tuesday.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg

Israel’s army is accelerating its operational plans and readiness to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat, the head of its military declared on Tuesday.

“The Israel Defense Forces is in the process of changing and adapting units throughout the IDF for present and future battlefield needs, Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. “The change is based on modernization and procurement, which are proceeding well.”

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Kochavi was at the meeting, which was partly closed to the media, to present a security report together with Military Intelligence head of research, Brig. Gen. Amit Sa’ar, operations chief Brig. Gen. Yaron Finkelman, and the head of human resources planning and administration, Brig. Gen. Amir Vadamni.

“Over the past year we have continued to operate against our enemies in operations and secret actions throughout the Middle East, Kochavi said about threats in various arenas. “The IDF will continue to elimiate threats and respond strongly to any breach of our sovereignty, whether from the Gaza Strip or the north, be it an Iranian force or a Palestinian one.”

Kochavi said the state budget passed last week “allows us to meet a variety of challenges, significantly improving all operational plans, procurement and training of both regular forces and reserves.”

Committee chairman MK Ram Ben-Barak said at the meeting: “The army and the security establishment work 24/7 openly and secretly in a continuing battle against Iran and its proxies.” He said the committee’s job is to respond “to the main challenges in keeping with directives from political officials.”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Tuesday that Israel would not allow Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies to obtain weapons that would damage Israel’s superiority in the region. Speaking at a dedication ceremony for a new Rafael Advanced Defense Systems facility in the north, Gantz said a project which will cost billions of shekels in the coming years was launched last week to protect the north.

“We are constantly working to prevent war – carrying out operations, conveying messages, preventing increased strength,” he said. “But if and when fighting will break out here at the front, we will be prepared and ready to carry out operations not seen in the past, by means that we didn’t have in the past, which will strike at the heart of terror and its capabilities.”

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